Saturday, October 25, 2008

Sinkane, Of Montreal at The Pageant


I joined the folks at Emergency Umbrella for a little trip to STL for the Of Montreal show at the Pageant. EU's Sinkane was set to open. In case you hadn't heard, Sinkane ringleader Ahmed Gallab is playing drums (and some guitar and bass) for Of Montreal on this tour.

We met up with members of another EU band, Gentleman Auction House. They promised to save us seats as they planned to drink their dinners. Our crew opted for food of the solid variety.

It's always good to talk some Columbus scene stuff. Ahmed, for being as well-traveled as he is, still keeps close ties with C-bus. It's also funny to hang out with Missourians who have no idea what Columbus and Ohio State are all about. I almost more look forward to reminiscing about Columbus with Ahmed than watching him play drums.

We hustled back over to the Pageant. I was the +1 on the list at the door. Luckily we made it through the door in time to catch Sinkane's set. Ahmed played drums and guitar with his buddy Evan and some members of Of Montreal. The band basically played through their excellent Color Voice. The set was very short, but it energized the crowd. Ahmed expressed later that he wished they could have played longer. The songs lend themselves to sprawling jams. However, this may have lost the audience. They fully embraced what Sinkane was doing and it was evident by all the kids chatting it up with Ahmed after the show.

The headliner blew onto the stage shortly after Sinkane's set ended in feedback and dissonance.

If you have not seen pictures of Of Montreal's performances, I highly recommend you look them up. It is one of the most ridiculously extravagant things I have ever seen in my life. Two drum sets sit on risers on either side of the stage. Meanwhile, sets and costumed dancers are wheeled in and out of the stage from the center as if interpretive dance is giving birth every evening in rock venues hosting Of Montreal. To summarize, there were dancing Budhas, an old west saloon scene, commandos, a hanging, a coffin, and many other unidentifiable accouterments and props. (Sorry, no horse.)

Personally, I found the whole exhibition to be silly and somewhat amateurish. Most of the props either came from cheap novelty stores or were paper mache creations from a seriously disturbed arts and crafts studio. The music did little for me as Of Montreal seems to only play the material that could best be described as psychedelic disco.

They finished the night with "Smells Like Teen Spirit" which Ahmed had hinted to me earlier at dinner. With two drummers and what seemed like an ever-multiplying army of guitars, the cover worked the crowd into an absolute frenzy.

At this moment, it occurred to me how old I am. I saw Nirvana 15 years ago this November in Dayton at the infamous Hara Arena. Maybe I was too old to get what was going here. Somebody mentioned that if they were 19 or 20, this show would have been mind-blowing. Maybe they were right.

No one can deny the enthusiasm and passion ignited that night in Of Montreal's fan base. Besides the raucous dancing, many fans were all decked out in costumes or dressed in a similar neon miss-matched manner as their heroes.

I was not won over by Of Montreal, but they proved themselves as a band taking that next step to some form of stardom. The only evidence I needed were all the very giddy kids leaving the Pageant Friday night.

1 comment:

Sarah said...

I loved going to see Of Montreal in 1999-2000...The Cherry Peel/Gay Parade (etc) stuff was nice, and they always put on a good show. I think I saw them four or five times, actually. (That's what I always liked about the E6 bands back in their heyday: they always had solid, entertaining shows. They had fun without being silly, and the music was good.) Kevin Barnes was sweet and approachable. I haven't been to see them in a few years, though...their new stuff seems so put on by comparison, it doesn't really appeal to me at all, and also, it just makes me feel old. (Funny, because the guys in the band are all older than me. Good for them.) But, yeah, I can see that being not too terrific. Yay for the kids, though. Yay for the kids.